Background: The purpose of this study was to examine how aerobic exercise and exercise intensity affect transient mood states. A two-level (high intensity exercise/low intensity exercise) pretest-post-test design was employed.
Methods: Subjects included 42 healthy male and female volunteers (M age = 39.12; SD = 11.53, range 17-64 years) enrolled in four aerobics classes. The classes were randomly assigned to either low intensity (< or = 60% maximum heart rate) or high intensity (> or = 75% maximum heart rate) conditions. Subjects participated in a 50-minute bench-stepping routine at their assigned intensity level. Pre-exercise and post-exercise assessment of transient mood was assessed with the Profile of Mood States (POMS) inventory.
Results and conclusions: Results from a 2 x 2 (pre-exercise/post-exercise x high intensity/low intensity) ANOVA suggested that tension, depression, fatigue and anger decreased while vigor increased in both conditions. Additionally, subjects in the high intensity group reported less fatigue and anger than those participants in the low intensity group.